Headlines over the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow openly gay members are still flying fast and furious.
There’s been so much recent coverage, actually, that it’s impossible to critique all of it in a single post. So I thought I’d ask seven questions related to the decision and news coverage of it.
1. Does the new Boy Scout policy conflict with Catholic teaching?
No, according to a Religion News Service report:
(RNS) The U.S. Catholic Church’s top liaison to the Boy Scouts of America is telling Catholic Scout leaders and troop sponsors that the BSA’s new policy welcoming gay Scouts “is not in conflict with Catholic teaching” and they should continue to support scouting programs.
2. Why did religious groups that opposed allowing gay Boy Scouts suddenly change positions?
The “On Faith” section of the Washington Post tackles this question:
Experts say the Scout vote embodies the struggle going on today in traditional religion over homosexuality. There is a strong desire and effort to be more welcoming — and even affirming — of some equal rights, but not to back off completely. But that’s proving tricky to do.
Who are the “experts” who say that? This piece offers interesting analysis but provides inadequate attribution, it seems to me.
3. Will Southern Baptist churches leave the Boy Scouts over the new policy?
A mass exodus appears likely, according to CNN:
The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.
The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in Houston.
“There’s a 100% chance that there will be a resolution about disaffiliation at the convention,” said Richard Land, the longtime head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, “and a 100% chance that 99% of people will vote for it.”
“Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Land continued.
4. Exactly how new are the Royal Ambassadors, an alternative scout group highlighted by the New York Times?